Monday, November 21, 2011

A book called "Rust"

Jack Frost and Old Man Winter have begun to kick up their heels here in the Northwest. The weatherman has been so dramatical it makes some rush about in fear. The only reason I rush about is to get home to play. I have been finishing off my latest book called "Rust." I have contained 30 loose leaves of handmade paper printed with my photos of rust in a self-made box. The outside is covered with a rough textured paper picked up from Daniel Smith's house of delights last weekend.

That in itself is a story, but thankful we all should be, I did not succumb to purchasing the pine scented paint he was showcasing. Can't you see it? "Where's Jan?" (family searching through the house unable to find me) You aren't sniffing that tube of paint again are you? they'd yell out. There I would be - caught- under the easel, green paint smeared under my nose, sniffing the turpines right out of the tube! Yes, it is true - I have been known to pinch an evergreen or two just to get a hit of the heady scent. You do it too - I KNOW I am not the only one!

I have worked diligently on my book. I haven't let the upcoming holiday and the necessary cleaning frenzy to get in my way of working on my book! I do feel like it needs a rusty object on it, but it may take time to find just the right thing.  I do love the deckle edge on all four sides of  the paper and how the image runs off the page into the fluff. I am very thankful to have a place to put my images collected from all around Washington and parts of Oregon. Of course, I am thinking of making more books - perhaps constructed the same way to hold all my other image collections - rocks, trees, bark.  It may just be the beginning of a book collection. Muse willing. So without further ado-            

I have much to be thankful for this season - but the surprise of the season was to be included in a publication by the Puget Sound Book Artist group. When I was accepted for their exhibition this past summer I had no idea about the publication. Muse and I grinned at each other and agreed I better keep improving my gluing techniques - you never know where things will end up.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Don't take away my woodstove!

It was a blustery, windy, weekend with an extra day to linger longer. It's surprising what thoughts and ideas can percolate up when you sip your tea next to a warm, woodstove. Frankly, they have to be BIG thoughts to move one's self from the cozy reach of a woodstove. The cats agree. But move I did. To the kitchen, as it was far too cold and damp in the greenhouse to play there. With blender whirling and play things strewn from one end to the other - I made paper! I made 37 sheets of cotton and cattail fluff paper (4 x 6") using my funny little technique and the simplest of equipment. Some of the papers started their drying time on plywood boards, some on my dehydrator screens and a few on plexiglass.  I fretted that the paper wouldn't dry fast enough so I could continue to play the rest of the weekend. I was wrong. Within minutes (next to the wood stove - smile) they were ready. Just for security I left them laying across the mitten rack above the woodstove for a little more curing.  The ones on plexiglass came out so smooth, perfect for text images.

As the weekend progressed the joy continued - I used the paper to make a loose leaf book of my photos of... smile wink, blink... more on that later. Question - Did the housecleaning get done ? In a word, No.  But the laundry did and food got on the table. So! Two out of three domestic goddess duties did get done for which I hope will bank some credit so I may continue to play.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

While I was gone...

I have been off traveling. Regretably it is now time to return to normal living. The adjustment has been... let us say, difficult. I liked having all the meals prepared, the housekeeping done by someone else, not to mention having my head filled with phenomenal views and new ways of looking at the world. My brain hurts there has been so much stuffed into it.

So, I have looked for ways to gently enter back into the work-a-day world and yet not forget the pleasures we had. Translation - this means copious amounts of time spent in front of the picture window with a mug of hot eggnog latte watching the leaves drift to the ground.

Today, my eyes settled on this THING in the yard.  It was a coffee can with this cloth covered thingy sticking up with a dark foreboding liquid lapping at the edges. What the heck? Oh... my little dyeing bucket! I had totally forgotten about my little experiment - a dye project using coffee, tea, leaves and rusty objects. I started it in Sept and promptly forgot about it. I think that is what you are supposed to do too.
For the last several months I have been following the work of  Velma at Wake Robin and India Flint at
Two very talented women, who love to make bundles of cloth wrapped around plant material, rusty stuff, maybe some soda ash and then they wait... and wait... and after a time they get the most spectacular results. I am happy to say me too-can do! I unwrapped my rusty, icky looking thing and this is what I got. I am sure I will do more. It is so abstract! No tellling what a person could do with the cloth or the photos of the cloth. Smile! I am BACK (in the saddle again)! Now, how to juggle work time so there is ample play time?